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Zurbuchen proving to be valuable presence in net for WSHL’s Knights

 

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It’s been quite the culture shock for Phoenix Knights goaltender Tim Zurbuchen this season, but his play on the ice hardly reflects it.

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A Switzerland native, Zurbuchen has emerged as the Knights’ No. 1 netminder and “one of our best performers this season,” according to coach-GM Mike Bowman.

“I have experienced a lot of new things this season, like going on long road trips that last 3-4 days and playing three games in a row each week,” said Zurbuchen. “Game-wise, I have experienced some new things like getting used to the smaller ice surface, getting more shots as a result, and depending more on skating to make positional saves. Also, I have never played in this many games in one season as in Switzerland, we have around 35 games in a season.”

Playing for a young team has been a positive as well for Zurbuchen.

“It offers a lot of practice and action in each game,” explained Zurbuchen. “I just try to focus on my game and how I feel playing. If I felt good and played well in my eyes, I’m happy, regardless of the result or statistics. I can also rely on our coach to provide me with input to further help me develop.”

“Tim continues to make progress on the fundamentals of his game and his performance allows us to be in more games that we otherwise might be out of,” Bowman noted. “His work ethic and dedication to improvement is among the tops I’ve seen at this level.”

Like almost all goalies, Zurbuchen has his own daily routine, which includes minimal usage of electronics.

“I stretch every day, I work on my hand-eye coordination for at least 15 minutes a day and I watch and analyze most goals that got scored in the NHL the night before,” he said. “Other than that, I go on runs on off days, go to the gym 3-4 times a week, have a 30-minute stretching session with a specialist each week and make sure I sleep and eat right.”

Photo/Mark Mauno

— Matt Mackinder